Adolescence Should Now Be From 10 To 24 Years Old

Joy Montgomery
January 22, 2018

The paper, co-authored by Susan Sawyer, professor of adolescent health at the University of Melbourne, says it is important to redefine the period to help laws and government policy remain appropriate.

According to the data, Young people are delaying their marriages and parenthood.

That, adolescent age began from 10 and lasted up to 19 years was an established fact, but things might be changing now.

The researchers argue that law changes may be necessary, saying that we should consider anyone between the ages of 10-24 to be an "adolescent" and offer them additional state support.

"Older children and young people are shaped far more significantly by society's expectations of them than by their intrinsic biological growth", she reasons.

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"Puberty" is biologically defined as when hormones are released which activate the pituitary and gonadal glands, triggering the noticeable bodily changes we usually associate with adults.

The report said that while improved health and nutrition had accelerated the onset of puberty in almost all developed countries, greater understanding of continued development had lifted the endpoint well into the 20s.

For example, in industrialised countries, such as Britain, the average age of a girl's first menstruation had dropped by four years over the past 150 years, said a BBC report. Research has proven that females that used to have their first periods around the age of 16 years now experience their first periods around 12 to 13 years of age.

Study authors also argue that there is biological evidence that now adolescence lasts longer. Body continues to develop beyond the age of 20. It continues to mature well into the mid-twenties. Now the adults don't get their wisdom teeth until the age of 25 years.

Case in point: In England (where this movement derives from), the average age for marriage is 32 for a man, and 30 for a woman, both of which are approximately eight years older, on average, than the standard ages at which people got married back in the 1970s.

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